Performance Evaluation of Short Parabolic Trough Collectors Integrated with a Small-Scale Solar Power and Heating System

  • Guang Zhang (张光)Email author
  • Yong Li (李勇)


An investigation is presented on the performance of a small-scale solar power and heating system with short parabolic trough collectors (PTCs). The steady-state model of the short PTCs is evaluated with outside experiments. The model mainly contains the heat loss of the receiver, the peak optical efficiency and the incident angle factor consisting of incident angle modifier and end loss. It is found that the end loss effect is essential in this model when the length of the PTCs is less than 48 m, especially in the winter. The standard deviation of the steady-state model is 1.4%. Moreover, the potential energy efficiency ratio of the solar power and heating system is considerably larger than the coefficient of performance (COP) of general air-source heat pumps, and increases with the decrease of the condensation temperature. An overall system efficiency of 49% can be reached. Lastly, the existence of a water storage tank improves the flexibility of heating the building, and the volume of the water storage tank decreases with the increase of the heating water temperature.

Key words

parabolic trough solar collector small-scale practical operating characteristics thermal performance testing method 

CLC number

TK 513 

Document code


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Jiaotong University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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